Saulos Chilima suggestions of his plans to take over government violently has shocked Malawians who have described him as a threat to national security.
At a press briefing in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Chilima asked the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to respond to him “when called to duty”, a statement which suggested his sinister motives.
He even addressed himself to the military “As your vice president.”
Independent observers have since described his statements as tantamount to a coup plot as it is illegal for a vice president to ‘command the military’. They say Chilima has no powers by law to command the Malawi Defence Force. According to the law, the Malawi Defence Force takes orders from the Commander-in-Chief who is the President.
To strengthen the suggestion of his dark plans, he said that in the next few weeks he shall be announcing “the next vice president of the Republic of Malawi.”
His statements at the press conference have angered and even scared the Malawian public who have dubbed them as dangerous and Chilima a threat to national security.
At a lunch-hour gathering of people in Lilongwe, an analysis of Chilima’s statement drew the following conclusions:
He addressed soldiers “As your vice president”. This is a serious constitutional breach. The military does not take orders from the vice president. It is only the Commander-in-Chief to who the soldiers owe their loyalty. This statement is extremely dangerous and aimed at patronizing the military. It is a veiled coup.
He indirectly instigated the military to move in and take sides with him or the opposition when he invoked the Operation Bwezani saga of 1993. He was asking the military to take the role of the police which is also a dangerous and reckless statement that puts the security of the country at risk.
His statements were aimed at politicizing the military which they said is dangerous to the security of the nation.
Chilima’s statement should be seriously looked into.
This plot is the latest of his many illegal schemes throughout his vice presidency in his desperate attempt to take over power.
Chilima started plotting to take over government violently as early as July 2014 – barely a month into government – when he held his first clandestine meeting to start his plot to over President Peter Mutharika.
In September 2015, he and his press officer Pilirani Phiri spread lies to the press that President Mutharika had died while in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly. Chilima proceeded to form his own cabinet in readiness to take over power.
In December 2017, he took his covert plans to the public podium when he urged people in his Catholic church to revolt against President Mutharika so that he can become president.
When that failed, Chilima decided to stage his overthrow the ruling party system. In April 2018, he sent Callista Mutharika to incite a rebellion from with the ruling DPP against Mutharika. For this mission, he proceeded to recruit some disgruntled DPP members who waged a campaign for the removal of Mutharika so that he can take over the party. That failed.
In June 2018, he sent two MPs from his party to table a motion that would change Presidential Immunity law so that the president can stand trial if found to have committed a crime. Two weeks later, he and his plotters at the ACB leaked a corruption investigation report in which they inserted the name of the President as having been involved in an act of corruption but cannot stand trial because of Presidential Immunity. It was a plot to stir public outrage against Mutharika.
He also sponsored CSOs to stage violent anti-government demonstrations, hoping that their protests would ignite change for him to take over government.
*Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent that of Malawi24. If you have an article for publication, email: [email protected]